CLEARWATER, Fla. — While Tropical Storm Elsa damage did not impact a lot of people in the Tampa Bay area, it did disturb nearly 150 sea turtle nests on Pinellas County beaches.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium says nearly 75% of the 200 sea turtle nests on Pinellas County beaches were impacted by storm surge.
Now teams of volunteers that work with CMA and monitor turtle nests along 20 miles of Pinellas coastline, are working to redo the work they’ve already done this season. This means locating the nests, replacing markers, and putting up signs.
"Unfortunately, the biggest threat to these nests is water. Who would’ve thought, right? They live in the water. But it's actually detrimental to the animals that live in these nests, the little baby sea turtles," said Kelly Martin, director of animal care for CMA.
Martin says it will take us a few days to “clear” the beaches for public access. Which typically includes a delay in placing any hotel cabanas, furniture, and beach cleaning that may occur.
If you see a sea turtle, nest, or hatchling in distress, Martin says do not touch or interfere with the animal, instead call the aquarium's hotline at 727-441-1790 ext. 1.